Fires: Airbus wants to transform its A400M into a water bomber

Fires: Airbus wants to transform its A400M into a water bomber

Aurelien Fleurot

In an attempt to fight against the ever-increasing fires this summer in France, the Airbus company tested last week in Spain a kit transforming its A400M into a water bomber. An ambitious project which could see the light of day next summer and which would serve above all to relieve the firefighters since the plane would be three times more powerful than the Canadairs.

On the fire front, a new plane could come to the aid of firefighters. The Airbus company is testing a kit transforming its A400M into a water bomber. First tests took place last week north of Madrid, Spain. Airbus teams started this project nine months ago. The idea was to try to use their A400M, a tactical military aircraft used for transporting troops or equipment, as a firefighting device.

Three times more powerful than a canadair

The prototype made five drops last week with flights at an altitude of 45 meters, at 200 km / h, while releasing 20 tonnes of water in ten seconds, three times more than a Canadair. This is a complementary solution and not a replacement, specifies Jean-Brice Dumont, director of military aircraft at Airbus. “The A400M would come, when the day came, to land on a runway, to land on loose ground or on a beach”, he explains to Europe 1. Once there, the device must be able to pump ” 20 tons very quickly and set off again to drop them. All that matters to us is to provide professionals in the field with a solution that is as efficient as possible and as fast as possible” he adds.

Kits available from next summer?

We now have to move on to the qualification phase. Last week’s trials will be analyzed. Work with specialists from the Spanish Air Force will continue. The very ambitious objective – at this stage, we recognize at Airbus, would be to make these kits available from next summer.


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